Our heart is a vital organ in our body that pumps blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. Nowadays, our lifestyle is getting less active because of the advances in technology and transport. Thus, it will increase the risk of heart disease. Exercising is one of the activities that are important for the heart because it helps reduce the risk of heart disease. One good exercise which is easy to maintain a healthy heart is walking. Walking is a sport that is inexpensive, does not require special facilities or expertise, and has minimal risk. Walking is such an activity which can be done by all people in various ages. In community which is now becoming more sedentary, walking is a sport that has been chosen by them when advised to increase their physical activity. With the ease of walking, a variety of reasons for the sedentary life becomes void. We can do various ways to incorporate regular walking in our daily activities for example by choosing taking the stairs rather than using the elevator, or walk to near places to eat or to shop rather than using vehicles such as motorcycles / cars.
A recent study from the National Institutes of Health showed that walking 150 minutes / week, or at least 30 minutes / day for at least 5 days may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by 19%. In addition, the study also showed that the increase in the duration and intensity of the runs associated with the reduction in the risk of heart disease. Walking is a good form of physical activity for the overweight or obese people, and for the community with sedentary lifestyle. Another study showed that in people who have heart disease, walking still has a beneficial effect, lowering risk of having recurrent heart attack.
Physical inactivity can be easily marked by the least number of steps taken per day. Research shows that most of people only step less than 5000 steps per day, which count into the category of physical inactivity. The target number of steps that should be made is 10,000 steps.
To encourage people who are currently trapped in a sedentary lifestyle, there are several ways to promote people to do more steps, like
The use of a pedometer application on smartphones. Many smartphone users excited measure how far they have walked and then share it on social media,
The use of communication media such as internet / SMS / social media, which can reach various levels of society, especially young people.
Support from environment such as workplace. Minimal changes in activity such as additional walk as much as 5-10 minutes per day rather than using the elevator or the vehicle to reach office, can affect the total physical activity and can give more benefits to health.
Walking is easy form of physical activity which can be done by everyone. A small increase in the number of daily steps is still able to provide more benefits to heart health. Recommended target for physical activity is 150 minutes / week. To achieve it, small changes in daily routines can be done. Walking for about 5-10 minutes during breaks, Taking the stairs than using the elevator, or walking to have lunch rather than using vehicle or using delivery order facility. The use of a pedometer to count the number of steps, and the use of communication media can also promote the reduction of sedentary lifestyle and increased physical activity by walking.
- Tudor-Locke C, Bassett DR, Jr. How many steps/day are enough? Preliminary pedometer indices for public health. Sports medicine. 2004;34(1):1-8.
- Murtagh EM, Murphy MH, Boone-Heinonen J. Walking: the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention. Current opinion in cardiology. 2010;25(5):490-6.
Posted: January 19, 2016 at 11:41 am, Last Updated: January 19, 2016 at 11:42 am